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MATS Report: New options announced for Thermo King reefers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Thermo King has introduced new options for its trailer refrigeration units (TRUs), including an ...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thermo King has introduced new options for its trailer refrigeration units (TRUs), including an electric standby option and an environmental management system.

Thermo King’s new SmartPower system lets customers operate the reefer on electric power, significantly reducing fuel consumption. Craig Fisher, director of marketing for Thermo King, announced the availability of the new system at the Mid-America Trucking Show, where he also claimed it is three times more efficient than running the reefer off the diesel engine alone.

About 80% of reefers in Europe have an electric standby option, and Thermo King officials expect the concept to gain in popularity on this side of the pond as well.

The reefer switches to electric mode when a power cord is connected and the standby unit is switched on. It automatically returns to diesel power mode when there’s a power interruption, the company explained.

“North American customer interest has been very high in the SmartPower electric standby option, due to all of the new environmental legislation across the country,” said Jerry Duppler, trailer product manager with Thermo King.

The company also announced several other enhancements to its reefer line at the show, including a new environmental management system. When placed inside a refrigerated trailer, the system kills any bacteria which could lead to product spoilage. The system is developed by Thermo King’s parent company, Ingersoll Rand, and can also be used inside warehouses and distribution centers.

Also discussed at the show was Thermo King’s OptiSet + system which allows a driver to easily select the ideal refrigeration temperature for virtually any product. So far, nearly 500 items have been added to the database. A driver simply selects the commodity he or she is hauling from the menu and the reefer temperature will be set to the best temperature for that particular product, Fisher explained.

“There are things in (the database) I haven’t even heard of, but our customers haul them,” Fisher said.

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